Xi Gong

Document Type


Date of Award



College of Science, Engineering, and Technology (COSET)

Degree Name

MS in Chemistry

First Advisor

Curtis W. McDonald


Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (GFAAS) has been widely used as an analytical technique for trace level lead concentration determinations in a variety of applications such as blood, urine and soil. Based on a large amount of research on trace level lead analysis, this study targeted the development of a method for the determination of trace level lead with palladium as the matrix modifier using the graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometer. The most important factors that affect lead absorbance signals are ashing temperature, atomization temperature and modifier concentration. A variable condition for trace level lead analysis by GFAAS has been selected and discussed through experiments. In this study, lead absorbance with and without a palladium modifier was obtained by varying ashing or atomization temperatures while keeping other variables constant. The study of these variables generated some very interesting results. With a palladium as matrix modifier, ashing temperature can be used up to 80QoC. This is desirable because a high ashing temperature will free lead from bulk matrix. Atomization temperatures can be chosen from 12000C to 19000C with a minimum impact of lead absorption